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Full text of "My Country And My People"

WOMAN'S  LIFE                    145

hood and bearing and rearing children were not despised by
society or by the women themselves. A mother seems to fit
in with her position, a very highly honoured position, in the
family. To bring a child into the world and lead him and guide
him with her mother's wisdom into manhood is enough work
Tor any human being in a sane-minded society. Why she should
be regarded as "dependent" on man, either socially or econo-
mically, because she can do this noble work, and do it better
than man, is a notion that is difficult to grasp. There are
talented women, as there are talented men, but their number is
actually less than democracy would have us believe. For these
women, self-expression has a more important meaning than
just bearing children. But for the common people, whose
number is legion, let the men earn bread to feed the family, and
let the women bear children. As for their self-expression, I have
seen selfish, mean little wights blossom forth into gentle, all-
loving and self-sacrificing mothers, who are models of perfec-
tion and virtue in their children's eyes. I have also seen
beautiful girls who do not marry and who shrivel up in their
thirties and never reach that second period of woman's beauty,
glorious like the autumn forest, more mature, more human,
and more radiant, best seen in a happy wife three months after
her confinement.

Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.
Confucius spoke of the ideal society as the one in which there
were "no unmarried men or women," and this, in China, has
been achieved through a different conception of romance
and marriage. In Chinese eyes the great sin of Western society
is the large number of unmarried women, who, through no
fault of their own except the foolish belief in such a real being
as Prince Charming, are unable to express themselves. Many
of them are great as teachers or actresses, but they would be
still greater as mothers. By falling in love and marrying
perhaps an unworthy husband, a woman may fall into nature's
trap, whose sole concern is for her to propagate the race, but
she also may be rewarded by nature with a curly-headed child,
her triumph and her delight, more surprising than the greatest
book she has ever written and saturating her with more real
happiness than the moment of her greatest triumph on the